The Makeup of Successful Athletes: Part II

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By Jared McGriff-Culver ~ Director of Training, Tier 1 Athletic Performance 

In the last article, we provided some of the great attributes common to successful athletes. In Part II, we suggest some techniques that assist with the mental and emotional side of success.

1. Use positive mental imagery.

2. Manage anxiety effectively.

3. Manage their emotions effectively.

4. Maintain concentration.

Mental Imagery (DREAMING)

  • Prepare themselves for competition by imagining themselves performing well in competition.
  • Create and use mental images that are detailed, specific, and realistic.
  • Use imagery during competition to prepare for action and recover from errors and poor performances.

Effectively dealing with Anxiety or Pressure

  • Accept anxiety as part of sport.
  • Realize that some degree of anxiety can help them perform well.
  • Know how to reduce anxiety when it becomes too strong, without losing their intensity.

Effectively dealing with Emotions

  • Accept strong emotions such as excitement, anger, and disappointment as part of the sport experience.
  • Are able to use these emotions to improve, rather than interfere with high level performance


  • Know what they must pay attention to during each game or sport situation.
  • Have learned how to maintain focus and resist distractions, whether they come from the environment or from within themselves.
  • Are able to regain their focus when concentration is lost during competition.
  • Have learned how to play in the “here-and-now”, without regard to either past or anticipated future events.

Categories: Advice

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